Paul McCartney Reissue, James Blunt and 12 More New Albums to Hear Now

Also, Mount Eerie's 'A Crow Looked at Me,' Betty Who's 'The Valley,' Pallbearer's 'Heartless' and more

New albums you can hear right now: a Paul McCartney reissue, Mount Eerie, Betty Who, James Blunt, Pallbearer, Trey Songz and more. Credit: Getty, Courtesy of P. W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd, Ben Cope

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Paul McCartney, Flowers in the Dirt (Special Edition)
"We would write in the same method that me and John used to write," says McCartney, recalling his wildly productive late-Eighties collaborations with Elvis Costello. "I figured, in a way, he was being John. And for me, that was good and bad. He was a great person to write with, a great foil to bounce off, but here's me, trying to avoid doing something too Beatle-y!"

Those sessions, at McCartney's rustic Hog Hill Mill Studio in East Sussex, England, were intended to yield songs for what became the ex-Beatle's 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt, an Eighties high point. Four tracks, including the playful duet "You Want Her Too," ended up on that LP, two on McCartney's next one (1993's Off the Ground), and the rest on Costello's albums – most notably the hit single "Veronica."

But the box-set reissue of Flowers in the Dirt reveals, the collaborative recordings – rough acoustic versions (long circulated as coveted bootlegs) and, later, full-band Costello-McCartney versions – stand on their own as an extraordinary document of a partnership that was probably too perfect to last. "It moved me forward, and it moved him forward," says McCartney, who's equally proud of other Flowers tracks, like the uncharacteristic blues funk of the Trevor Horn–produced "Rough Ride." "That's the best you could hope for. I don't think either of us thought we were gonna become Lennon-McCartney Part Two."
Read Our Feature: Inside Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello's Prolific Late-Eighties Team-Up
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The Jesus and Mary Chain, Damage and Joy
After 30 years in the darklands, the Jesus and Mary Chain remain a tribute to the power of goth guitar noise, surly frowns and the kind of grudges only a pair of Scottish brothers can hold. The notoriously hostile duo of Jim and William Reid put aside their differences – some of them, anyway – for their first album since 1998's Munki, picking up right where "I Hate Rock 'n' Roll" left off.
Read Our Review: The Jesus and Mary Chain's Reunion Record Is Fabulously Morbid
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Pallbearer, Heartless
Anthemic Little Rock doom metal quartet Pallbearer began writing Heartless – their third and most striking album – a full year before Americans headed to the polls in November 2016. Throughout the process, though, bassist Joseph Rowland admits to a sense of impending dread, the sense that something disastrous was near. He and vocalist Brett Campbell wrote songs that reflected the feeling that, as he puts it, "we could be headed for some troubled times." The seven-song Heartless feels more aggressive and immediate than Pallbearer's previous work. The band moves out of the shadows of mythology and toward an earth riddled with new problems, broken defenses and evaporating futures. The music follows, with hooks that seem sharper and choruses that demand more attention.
Read Our Q&A: Pallbearer: Hear Anthemic 'Thorns,' First Doom-Prog Wallop From Third LP
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Craig Finn, We All Want the Same Things
A change from the lean folk-rock of 2015's Faith in the Future, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn spins tales of Midwestern ne'er-do-wells here against a lusher palette: ragged horns, synths, piano, even flute(!). The characters aren't far from those in his band's oeuvre, but he surveys their substance abuse, spiritual struggles, looming violence and generally dubious prospects with a heightened tenderness and more nuanced delivery. In terms of songwriting, he's become the indie-rock Springsteen we'd always suspected him to be, although now with a vibe more Nebraska than Born in the U.S.A. Will Hermes
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang, Build Music
The latest from David Byrne and Yale Evelev's Luaka Bop label is swarming, beat-driven electroacoustic music echoing that of the late Nigerian synth-pop pioneer William Onyeabor – another of the label's revelations. Nabay is a Sierra Leonean immigrant known for updating bubu, a processional music defined by percussion and bamboo horns. He translates it via samples and electronics, with help from Syrian-American multi-instrumentalist Boshra AlSaadi and others. The result is hypnotic, often hectic, and wildly danceable – ancient trance music for a tightly-wound new world. Will Hermes
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Also of Note:

James Blunt, The Afterlove
The fifth album from the folk-pop softie features songs cowritten by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder and Ed Sheeran. Blunt will be opening Sheeran's North American tour, starting June 29th.
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Betty Who, The Valley
The Australian-born, New York-based synth-pop musician recently had her third Dance Club Songs Number One with an update of Donna Lewis' "I Love You Always Forever." Her second album features it alongside rubbery singles like "Some Kinda Wonderful" and "Mama Say."
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Mount Eerie, A Crow Looked at Me
First as the Microphones and later Mount Eerie, Phil Elverum's legacy of blustery, drone-folk epics are eclipsed by his latest, A Crow Looked at Me. After losing his wife, artist Geneviève Castrée, to cancer in 2016, he follows up with a log of the grim days that followed in the aftermath. Braced by little more than a delicate strum of guitar, Elverum candidly details the process of grieving his loved one's absence: from its most profound in "Swims" ("We're all so close to not existing at all/Except in the confusion of our survived-bys, grasping at the echoes") down to its most mundane in "Toothbrush/Trash" ("I finally took out the upstairs bathroom garbage that was sitting there/Forgotten since you were here"). "Look at me," laments Elverum, "Death is real." Suzy Exposito
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Trey Songz, Tremaine the Album
The sex-crazed R&B star returns for album Number Seven.
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

On Fillmore, Happiness of Living
Before they visited Brazil, On Fillmore – the eclectic, long-running duo of bassist Darin Gray and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche – were used to micromanaging their sound. But, as Kotche says, "when we got there, we saw all these people just playing and having fun, so Darin and I ditched the cerebral side and went more for the emotional side." Accordingly, their new album, Happiness of Living, recorded in 2013 in Rio, is their most vibrant, spontaneous to date, featuring collaborators like Atoms for Peace/Red Hot Chili Peppers percussionist Mauro Refosco and Brazilian-American singer-songwriter Gabriela Riley.
Read Our Feature: On Fillmore: How Wilco-Related Duo Learned to Let Go in Brazil
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Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited

Wolf Eyes, Undertow
With their latest release, the long-running Midwest noise troupe launched a new, Warp-assisted imprint, Lower Floor Music. With more than 20-plus years of slasher garble behind them, the trio have spent recent years exploring a dead, bleak, rhythmic desolation. Undertow plays like listlessly flicking rocks into a bog, a sludge-and-sax sound like Flipper trying to make an ambient record. Christopher R. Weingarten
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Amazon Music Unlimited

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Souvenir
Singer-songwriter Drew Holcomb was, like so many Americans, disgusted with the exhausting electoral process of 2016. The day following Election Day and Donald Trump's victory, the East Nashville-based performer wrote "Fight for Love" for Souvenir. "You gotta fight for love/Fight for what you're dreaming of," he insists, his signature folky Americana given a kick by distorted electric guitar, chiming 12-string leads and a fiery anger in his voice.

"This is a love song and a protest song, a song of regret and confusion, of trying to save something that seems too far gone, but refusing to wave the flag of surrender," says Holcomb. "Whether it's romance or seeing your home and country become something you don't recognize. It's a song about not giving up."
Read Our Story: Hear Touring Favorite Drew Holcomb's Fiery New Song
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Memoriam, For the Fallen
For the Fallen is technically Memoriam's debut, but the English band's roots stretch all the way back to the late Eighties, when vocalist Karl Willetts and drummer Andrew Whale started playing together in Bolt Thrower. That band's 2016 breakup – following the death of Whale's replacement, Martin "Kiddie" Kearns, a year prior – capped a glorious three-decade run during which they skillfully bridged primitive grindcore and epic British heavy metal. Willetts and Whale reunite here to carry on that proud tradition, honoring Kearns' memory with help from bassist and fellow U.K. scene vet Frank Healy (also of Benediction and Sacrilege). The band's MVP, though, turns out to be its youngest member: guitarist Scott Fairfax, whose bulldozing yet potently melodic riffs lend real emotional heft to Willetts' gruff tales of battle. Extreme metal isn't known for its poignancy, but the elegiac tug of a track like near-nine-minute closer "Last Words" is impossible to miss. Hank Shteamer
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Night Ranger, Don't Let Up
The hard rockers who scored six Top 40 hits in the Eighties return with their 12th full-length.
Hear: Spotify / Apple Music / Tidal / Amazon Music Unlimited